Yamaha test mechanical components and chase acceleration improvements at Aragon test
Five riders from three teams hit the MotorLand Aragon venue for testing as reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu topped the timesheets
Three Yamaha teams headed to MotorLand Aragon to continue their preparations for the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK were joined on track by GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team and Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha at the Spanish venue. Originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday, the threat of bad weather meant all three teams took to the track on Wednesday for some brief running before the rain fell.
Reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) continued his off-season testing ahead of his title defense by topping the timesheets in Alcañiz with a 1’49.746s. The Turkish star completed 84 laps on Thursday throughout the day, adding to his 26 laps from Wednesday for a total of 110. Razgatlioglu’s fastest lap was faster than any race lap from the 2021 Aragon Round and quicker than any previous Yamaha race lap at the venue.
Teammate Andrea Locatelli was third fastest, two tenths away from his teammate, but put in the most laps of everybody at the test as he racked up 30 on Wednesday and 85 on Thursday for a total of 115. Pata Yamaha were mostly working on the mechanical side of their Yamaha YZF-R1 machine throughout the test, including electronic changes, as well as looking to improve the acceleration of the bike to help improve the all-round performance of the engine and spent the entire test using Pirelli’s SC0 tyre. Locatelli’s side of the garage were also working on the suspension of his machine including different links.
It was a strong test for Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) on his, and the team’s, first test of the 2022 off-season. The American posted a time of 1’49.820s, only 0.074s away from Razgatlioglu’s pace setting time and racked up 106 laps across the two days of testing: 21 on Wednesday and 85 on Thursday. Gerloff will be hoping his strong pace in testing transfers into racing when the action gets underway at Aragon as he goes in search of more rostrum visits throughout his third year of WorldSBK action.
Gerloff’s teammate, Kohta Nozane, was fourth fastest as he made his first appearance in 2022 testing with a time of 1’51.238s. The Japanese rider, entering his second season in WorldSBK, completed 90 laps; 16 on Wednesday before adding 74 on Thursday. GRT Yamaha were able to test the same tank that Razgatlioglu was using in the Portimao test with their main focus throughout the two days on rider position and the balance of the bike.
Christophe Ponsson rounded out the field for Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha as the Frenchman completed 84 laps across the two days, adding 74 on day two of the test to the 10 he completed on Wednesday. Now in his second season with the family-run team, Ponsson posted a best time of 1’52.341s throughout the test as he goes in search of consistent top-10 finishes.
WorldSBK times from Aragon test
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’49.746s, 110 laps
2. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’49.820s, 106 laps
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’50.021s, 115 laps
4. Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’51.238s, 90 laps
5. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) 1’52.341s, 84 laps
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More, from a press release issued by GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team:
GERLOFF AND NOZANE COMPLETE TWO PRODUCTIVE DAYS OF TEST IN ARAGÓN
The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team completed his first outing of 2022 season with two days of test in Aragón. Plans changed a bit when arrived in Spain due to unpredictable weather forcing the team to review the schedule and anticipate action from 2nd March already.
With massive rain expected on Friday (4th March), Kohta Nozane and Garrett Gerloff went on track from Wednesday to finally begin their 2022 campaign after being far from their bikes for such a long time. The first day served both to regain feeling and confidence, over than planning their future steps.
Anyway, the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team could not take full benefits from Day 1 due to tough weather condition. With track open from 13:00 local time, Gerloff and Nozane were able to make some laps but soft rain forced them to stop after a couple of hours.
Both riders tried to come back on track late afternoon as track seemed to drying up, but then more rain fell again obliging the team to finish the first day of test. So, at the end Garrett was able to make 21 laps with a best of 1.51.381 while Kohta made 16 laps with 1.53.465 as fastest lap.
On the second and last day, things were much better with a full sunny Thursday. Air and asphalt condition were good and both Nozane and Gerloff could have a lot of laps. The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK tested new parts brought by Yamaha, such as tank and seat, having a positive feedback. 1.49.820 was Gerloff’s fastest time (85 laps in total), while 1.51.238 was Nozane’s one (74 laps in total)
Gerloff and Nozane will not then come back on track on 4th March as weather predictions plan a lot of rain on the circuit. That is why the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team decided to cancel that day of testing.
The next pre-season test sessions are scheduled for 16th-17th March in Misano.
Garrett Gerloff: “It’s so epic and nice to be back on my Yamaha R1 after a long time. Yesterday when I rode again the bike it was quite a shock! Today it was so cool to have a full dry day. We tried a bunch of new stuff, including new brakes, and didn’t touch suspension or geometry. I’m just focusing on myself getting rhythm and those things. During the off-season I worked a lot on myself to improve every aspect, from physical one to mental one. I’m feeling in a really good place and glad to be back. Now, let’s keep working and see how the things go at another track like Misano.”
Kohta Nozane: “Finally, we are back. It was such a long time! We had many test items and it was not easy to manage all the job, but at the end we are satisfied and the job done was good. It’s cool we had the possibility to make a lot of laps today, it’s a good start for 2022 season. Now let’s move to Misano. I like a lot the circuit and I cannot wait to be there. Italy is like my second home!”
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Make Steps Forward at Aragón Test
The Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team ramped up their preparations for the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship season at MotorLand Aragón (2-3 March), with the team, supported by Yamaha’s engineers, continuing to assess electronic strategy and mechanical upgrades across engine and chassis components.
With unpredictable weather scheduled throughout the week in the Teruel region, the decision was made to run for the afternoon only on Wednesday, while Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli were able to complete a full day’s running in perfect conditions on Thursday.
The Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK duo combined for 225 laps of the 5.078 km Spanish circuit, which the team used to find improvements at a track that hasn’t previously played to the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK’s strengths. This target was achieved, with both riders showing considerably better pace than ever before at Aragon.
For the second test of 2022, Razgatlıoğlu was quickly up and running on Wednesday afternoon, completing 26 laps, as rain interrupted some of the session. On Thursday, the reigning WorldSBK champion was able to run 84 laps, with his best time of 1’49.746 marking Yamaha’s best ever Superbike lap at the Alcañiz venue – backed up by many laps in the high 1’49s and low 1’50s bracket, all set on standard Pirelli race tires.
Riding at the circuit he made his WorldSBK race debut at in 2021, Locatelli was pleased with the work completed across the test. The Italian completed a busy Thursday schedule, turning 85 laps, having run 30 the day before. He ended the test just 0.267s behind his teammate on a 1’50.021, further demonstrating the improvements he and Yamaha have already made at this circuit.
Next for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK squad will be the Barcelona test on 25-26 March, where the team will run in their 2022 livery for the first time.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: 110 laps – 1’49.746
“We had a great test in Aragon, I am surprised! Yesterday we had sun then some rain, not so many laps, but today we are very lucky with perfect weather all day. This is maybe not my best track but we were very fast and consistent, so for this I am happy! Today my feeling was like a test rider, so many things to try, but also we are fast and I enjoyed it! Yamaha and the team are working a lot, we made a big improvement compared to ‘21… a 1’49 with SC0 tire is not so bad! Maybe now Aragon is coming a better track for me! Next test is Catalunya, we will put together the best package from the testing parts and electronics and try again to improve.”
Andrea Locatelli: 115 laps – 1’50.021
“We are very happy because we did a lot of laps and we also had good grip here at Aragón. The feeling is coming back better now after Portimão. Today we worked around the set-up of the bike and now the feeling is really good. Now, we will continue the development before we arrive to the Barcelona test. I’m also happy because I’ve not been able to ride as much as I did today at this track. The team did a great job and we made no mistakes. Now we look forward to the next one, my level is improving and so is the R1.”